IMPACT did for me in 20 hours what 10 years of therapy could not…This is something every woman should do![it] has helped a lot with the anxiety problems I used to have. I was terrified to jog in my neighborhood at night; I was terrified to leave my blinds open even an inch. I was terrified of the world in general. Years of therapy fixed nothing. And ever since I started taking this class I’m not really afraid of much at all. I know now that I have a plan of action. And that makes me feel so much safer.
I am a very nice person. There have been times where people will make me uncomfortable, but I didn’t know what else to do but smile and nod. I feel like this course gave me the gift of telling people to back off and how to protect myself if they don’t listen.
I was sexually assaulted multiple times by a friend when I was young. I didn’t know I could say ‘No’ and I didn’t know how to say ‘No’. This program gave me the tools to prevent anything like that happening again. And if it did, I know I could defend myself. Thank you!
I was raped as a young girl. The experience became stuck in my body and ruled my life in a powerful undercurrent. Through therapy, I was able to access these memories and work with them. I signed up for this class knowing that this was the next step for me, yet also very scared of what would come up for me. Yes, memories came up. Yes, tears and anger and grief came up. But the container of the class was so powerful and supportive that I fought through it. I have remembered my fighting spirit. I have awakened the lioness within me and looked her in the face. I walk with her now in me without fear of that power that is mine. It is my birthright. And I have reclaimed it.
Before I took this class, I was convinced the world would walk all over me, and it did because I let it. Years of therapy fixed nothing. I was in an abusive relationship and afraid of everything. During the class, I dumped the boyfriend who treated me so badly and started jogging at night, something I thought I could never do.
This class has given me so much confidence not only in my defensive ability, but in myself and my power to make my own decisions. I was raped over the summer and I don’t feel intimidated anymore. I feel that I can now be in full control and never be violated again thanks to this class.
-Eliza, 14 years old, Basics Graduate
When my daughter was 5-years-old she witnessed her father battering me. That incident shattered her sense of security and her trust in me. She saw me as being helpless and not protecting myself so she lost confidence in my capacity to protect her. It took me seven years to get myself in a financial and emotional position to leave the marriage. Since that time I have participated in many forms of therapy and empowerment to increase my self-confidence and improve my sense of self as a woman. The IMPACT program was the most profound of all the modalities I’ve experienced. Not only did it give me effective, practical strategies for self-defense, it helped me gain a positive view of my body and its inherent power and ability. My daughter and I took the training together and it helped us rework the twenty year old wound. She saw me being brave and effective! For that I am eternally grateful.
I am a domestic violence survivor, and I didn’t realize how long I’d been carrying a sense of shame, anger, and fear from what had happened to me in my home. IMPACT helped me begin to heal this. Now I feel much more confidence – and differently about myself.
After graduating from the teen women’s basic course I feel more confident when walking by myself. I’m more aware and don’t feel intimidated. I’m able to discern a safe situation from a potentially dangerous one. If I was ever assaulted, I’m pretty sure that I would not become a victim.
Two days after completing the eight-hour basic training, I had an opportunity to put my newly learned skills to work. Imagine my surprise when I experienced myself moving into a ready stance complete with verbal defense before I even realized it! Bravo! Thank you for helping me to feel more secure about my ability to take care of myself in this world.
Real Life Test…
He approached me and mumbled, “How are you?” and in the same instant grabbed my upper arm and tried to pull me into the car.
It only took a split second for me to find my voice and to say loud and clear, “Don’t touch me” as I jerked my arm back as hard as I could—breaking his tight grip. He looked stunned and his surprise rendered him immobile for a brief moment. I certainly didn’t respond as the “victim” that he was anticipating. I walked quickly past the car and up the street. Before turning the corner, I glanced back and saw him looking around to see if there had been any witnesses. Then he sped off in his car. I managed to take a quick look at his license plate as he drove away and was able to memorize 5 of the 6 digits.
At the bar
“You’re amazing. You’re so amazing,” he kept saying to me. He turned my head towards him and aggressively tried to kiss me. Instantly, my training kicked in. I put up my hands and yelled “NO!”
Everyone in that end of the bar heard it loud and clear, even over the live band. Half the bar turned and looked at him. He asked, “Well, why not?” I said at the same volume, “Because I don’t want to!”
He shied away for about an hour, thoroughly embarrassed, and then came back to give it another try. I was talking to a friend when he came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist. I turned around and said, “Get your hands off me or I’ll have you thrown out.” He stepped back put his head down and said, “Well, then, maybe I should leave.” “Maybe you should.” I replied.
He got up and stormed out of the bar. I haven’t seen him there since.
Walking the neighborhood
As I was walking, I heard a bike approaching behind me. I moved to the side of the path to make room for the biker to pass and the next thing I knew, a man’s hand was squeezing my breast!
I knocked his hand off of me and yelled “What the f*!k are you doing?!” His eyes were as wide as saucers and he started peddling madly away. Apparently he didn’t expect such an angry, impassioned response.
Afterwards, my friends were astonished that I still did my daily power-walk at the same time, same place. I didn’t change my behavior and hide in my apartment because some creepy breast-grabber (perhaps more) was out there. I did however, turn to look at every biker who passed me on the path after that. I guess the breast-grabber must have stayed away from my neighborhood after that because I never saw him again.
My 17 year-old daughter and I were recently in San Diego and were walking in a parking lot at night when we saw a “suspicious” looking person was walking towards us. My daughter grabbed my elbow, whispered, “avoid a potentially dangerous situation,” and steered me to the other side of the parking lot. Nothing untoward occurred with the stranger and I was so happy to know that she retained what she learned with all of you.
Voice is our greatest tool against becoming a victim
We were attacked by two men. One came right at me.
In the moment, I felt anger—not fear—at being attacked and fought back fiercely. I wasn’t surprised I fought back; during IMPACT training I found my “fighting spirit” easy to access. I had clarity and precision, and acted in a logical, effective manner.
I had the presence of mind to realize that the silence around me meant that I was not using my voice! I reminded myself to breathe and yell – and I found my reserve of strength. My assailant—shocked at my loud, powerful resistance—backed off. My frozen friends responded to my instructions and we ran to safety.
I was on an afternoon walk when I was grabbed from behind. I thought it was a friend messing around. I said, “Come on, let me go.” Then his grip tightened, and I felt his erection. Then it hit me: “I’m being assaulted!”
He grabbed me just like IMPACT instructors do during class. I took a deep breath and thought, “Oh no! He has no idea what he just got himself into!” I released a yell that was so powerful I surprised myself! I struck his groin and broke his grip. I turned to see him already sprinting away.